"Our mission," said DeSantis, "in support of the USAID-led effort, is to, one, build Ebola treatment units
, which are being built to identify Ebola patients, as well as care for them
. Two, our mission is to train health care workers
who will be the actual ones to treat Ebola patients, to staff those treatment units. That's our two missions."
For this mission, called Operation Unified Assistance (OUA), the 101st contingent is primarily headquarters personnel to coordinate all of those efforts and medical personnel to train medical workers.
The 101st Airborne is only one of several Army units deploying for the mission, which is being conducted with a lot of help and expertise.
"There's a huge synchronization piece to this," DeSantis said, "and it doesn't just include our units, but also USAID (United States Agency for International Development), CDC, a whole bunch of organizations outside the government – Doctors Without Borders, World Health Organization (WHO), all those groups that have been over there for at least a year."